Archive for February 2009

Locked Out

February 27, 2009
Is it girl chase boy day or girl hate girl day?

Is it girl chase boy day or girl hate girl day?

“Cici’s the boss and she told Jenny and Amy that I can’t play,” my daughter said when she got home.

I stall for time, “Okay . . . why is she the boss?  Who decided that?”

“She just is.  She said.”

Now I’m mad.  “Well, can’t you make someone else the boss?”

“NO, mom.”

That was Monday.  Now, Thursday we are still “locked-out” – which is what my neighbor’s daughter (Jenny) told her mom it was called.  When you don’t want someone to play, it’s a lock out.  We’re six and behaving like queen bees already?  I thought I had more time to figure this out.

My daughter brought two stuffed animals to school yesterday.  “Maybe Cici will like my stuffed animals and let me play with her!”

Didn’t happen.

Today, she told me excitedly, “When Cici gets sick, they said I could play with them.”

What?  This is not going well.  I encouraged her to play with other people that ARE NICE and WILL PLAY WITH HER.  (Duh.)  She said, “I don’t want to.”

So, I’ve put ever single bully & self esteem book on hold at the library.  Anyone have some ideas for me?  (Besides the inappropriate response of punching her in the face which my daughter would never do anyway because, “She’s my friend.”)



School isn’t always fun for an introvert

February 19, 2009

Think about an introvert who prefers quiet to noise, working alone to groups, and need to think longer than her peers.

Schools can be loud, crowded, overstimulating and encourage quick responses.  When could an introvert be alone at school, even for a few minutes?   Now imagine when called upon, if your introvert takes more than two seconds, he or she will be passed over – will the teacher assume that he or she does not know the answer?  What teacher waits long enough for an introvert to answer?  Or better yet, prepares the introvert ahead of time for the question and returns to that child later for the answer?

I think of the loud, crowded lunch room and cringe.  I hated it myself as a child.  Not introvert friendly!

School culture benefits extroverts.  Most teachers never consider the needs of an introverted child.  We need to advocate for our children’s needs so they don’t hate school.

Introverts Know Themselves

February 12, 2009

Even when my innie was little, she knew her body.

“Mom, I have to throw up,” she would say calmly and walk to the toilet.  At two!  Just last week, she did the same thing.  She is so in touch with her body sensations.

It happens with food, too.  She is the only child I have ever seen that will stop after half of a cookie.  “I’m full.  I think I’ll save the rest for another time.”  ???  Seriously!?  The rest of the world, me included, usually keep eating — if it tastes good, who cares if we’re full?

Unlike her sister, I just watched my other daughter, the three year old, eating her slice of cake at a birthday party.  When I looked again, she had eaten her neighbors slices, too!  (Good supervision, mom.)  Sorry, kids – watch out for the sugar fiend three year old!   –They were at a disadvantage being only one.  I got them more cake and escorted my daughter from the table.  Not really listening to her body, is she . . .

Back to my point. . . Books about introverts say that introverts are exceptionally aware of their bodies.  Also, introverts are healthier eaters than their extroverts.

Sometimes I need to remember that there many positive traits of an introvert – this is one of them.

Emotions Not Visable

February 12, 2009

My six year old innie made her first basket in the basketball game last week.  She had no reaction.

“That was awesome,” her dad told her.  She just looked at him.

Later, when her grandma, asked her how she felt, she replied, “All the adults said it should have been three points.”

I’m sure she excited on the inside, right?

Be In Proximity

February 9, 2009

After school, it’s completely pointless for me to ask my innie daughter, “What did you do at school?”  Or for a trick, “Who did you sit with at lunch?”  It just does not work.

“I don’t know.”

So, all last week I decided to make a change.  I consciously left her alone.  I just gave her a snack and we didn’t talk.  Several hours later, I asked her a few questions about her day.  And low and behold.  I actually go answers!!

Even better, sometimes my little innie just started talking about school.  How else would I know that her friend has a strange looking belly button?

My new rules for after school (for myself.)

1.  Shut up.

2.  Wait to ask any questions- if at all.

3.  Be in close proximity to her so she can talk when she’s ready.

4.  Consider waiting longer.  (so hard!)

Big life lesson:  It’s not about you, dummy!  Parent your child in her way, not yours.

She prefers to read . . . I’m so proud

February 6, 2009

This morning at the bus stop, my six year old sat down on the ground, and pulled out a book from her backpack.   She read until the bus arrived.  Her friend, wanting to play,  looked puzzled.  Her friends mom looked awe-struck.  “Look,” she pointed.  “Yes, I know,” I replied – as if I knew she’d be doing that all along.  “Can you believe it?”

I have dreamed of this moment.  To me, her choosing a book over playing, is huge.  SHE IS A READER!!!!  SHE LOVES HER BOOK!!!!!

I don’t want her to stop, so I say nothing.  Smile and nod.  Act cool.  Don’t freak out and try to hug her while crying hysterically about the wonders of losing oneself in a story and lifelong learning and . . . oh, I could go on.  No.  Smile and nod.  Act cool.

I am happy.  I am ecstatic.  SHE’S A READER!!!!

“Your child refused to participate . . . “

February 2, 2009

I recently received an angry email from my first grader’s teacher.  In the middle of the day.  “Your daughter refused to participate during reading.  I told her it is very important to follow my directions and I told her that I would be e-mailing you.”

So, first of all, I could tell she was really irritated.  To email me at 10:43 a.m. during her teaching day told me it was a pressing issue for her.  I emailed her back and told her I would have a chat with my daughter when she arrived home.

“What happened?”  I asked.

“She wanted me to read the boy part in a boy voice,” my daughter replied.  “I didn’t want to.”

Hmmm.  “Is there a way you could have been more respectful to the teacher?  What about asking for a different part or to read it to her privately?”  We discussed ideas.  Meanwhile, I was fuming mad.

What teacher does not understand that some kids are terrified to one, read out loud, and two, read in a different voice.  Refused to participate!  What a total misread of the situation.  How about terror induced muteness?

It is clear to me that I must educate my daughters teachers gently to the concept of introvertedness.  And frankly, to shyness, to lack of confidence, to the fact that a lot of kids don’t like reading out loud.  Duh!

I sent her a checklist of what an introvert looks like in the classroom.  She never replied.  Go figure.

I can’t wait until this year is over.